It has been a heck of a long time since I posted anything about Mercy. It's mainly down to the fact of me zipping back and forth between London and home so often I guess, I never get a great opportunity to get photos of her. I had a little photoshoot last week - although she's not the most photogenic of animals (see really HATES the camera!) and my camera is having some focusing issues at the moment, I thought you guys might like to see a little of her.
She's an old lady now, about 2yrs 4mnths, and she has a mammary tumour and arthritic symptoms. I noticed the tumour back in December as a very small lump, and it's now about the length of my little finger. A combination of this and old age has affected her gait quite prominently, and she's arthritic as a result. As is often the case with rats, she copes with the pain remarkably well. Whilst I was home, she was still very much her normal self in terms of personality, and appetite, and would shuffle about as she pleased. We've now got her on metacam; lately she was getting quite reluctant to move around so much, and I'm hoping that'll make the rest of her days, however numorous they are, comfortable. I'm back in London for at least the next month or so, and have given word to the family that if she gets to an obviously painful state, I don't want any hanging on for my sake, and that they should take her to be put to sleep.
You can see in the photos that she's lost a fair amount of condition, but she's actually pretty much spot on weight-wise and her fur is all in quite good shape. She's probably faded out so much since I last posted pics! She barely has any grey hairs left at all now, just a few strands on her forehead and the nape of her neck. She's also always been a bit boggle-eyed (she's a serial bruxer!) and so the prominent sclera she has is nothing new. You can also see how she's 'dropped' to the floor on account of her arthritis, although she was at the time managing to manoeuvre herself pretty well.
Giving a little wink to the camera!
Her little 'wattle' makes me smile She's aged quite gracefully otherwise!
A few more coming...